10 Idiomatic Ways to Say “Average” in English

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In everyday conversations, we often describe things as being “average.” But there are many colorful idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs that convey this concept with more flair. Here are ten you can start using today.

1. Run-of-the-mill

Meaning: Completely ordinary
Example: This café serves run-of-the-mill coffee.

2. Middle-of-the-road

Meaning: Moderately average
Example: His views are quite middle-of-the-road.

3. So-so

Meaning: Neither good nor bad
Example: The movie was so-so, not great.

4. Nothing to write home about

Meaning: Not exceptional
Example: The concert was nothing to write home about.

5. Par for the course

Meaning: What’s expected
Example: That quality is par for the course.

6. Plain vanilla

Meaning: Very ordinary
Example: It’s just a plain vanilla phone case.

7. Standard-issue

Meaning: Typical, not special
Example: These are just standard-issue uniforms.

8. Garden-variety

Meaning: Common, unexceptional
Example: It’s a garden-variety error.

9. Cut-and-dried

Meaning: Predictably average
Example: The plan was cut-and-dried.

10. By the numbers

Meaning: Conforming to a norm
Example: His work is by the numbers.

idiomatic ways to say average


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